What options the new President of Ukraine has?

In eve of the Maidan uprising last February Petro Poroshenko, then Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Ukraine/EU Parliamentary Cooperation, met with Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, who traveled to Kiev where she paid tribute to the victims at the symbolic place of the protest movement EuroMaidan. (EC Audiovisual Services 24/02/2014).

In eve of the Maidan uprising last February Petro Poroshenko, then Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Ukraine/EU Parliamentary Cooperation, met with Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, who travelled to Kiev where she paid tribute to the victims at the symbolic place of the protest movement EuroMaidan. (EC Audiovisual Services 24/02/2014).

Petro Poroshenko, the new Ukrainian President elect, is one of the wealthiest men of his country, but he is not an oligarch in the sense that he hasn’t made his fortune by getting government contracts and concessions. He actually is the only exception to the rule, that all business tycoons of this badly governed state, have made their fortunes by colluding with the political elite to ruthlessly exploit the country’s wealth. In many cases the politicians themselves, like the ousted ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, have immensely and quite openly enriched themselves while in power.

Poroshenko’s fortune in the candy, chocolate and agricultural sectors are not related to government contracts, because his are market led activities. The government cannot convince the Ukrainian consumers to choose his products. That’s why he has not been related to the corrupt political factions, which governed the country during the last fifteen years. His democratic credentials are won during the ‘Orange Revolution’ but he didn’t redeem them for public money as Tymoshenko and others did. Poroshenko has been always in the opposition and participated in the Maidan uprising, but withdrew from the first line of events, when the extreme right wing ‘regiments’ took over the place.

Who backs Poroshenko?

That’s why last Sunday this man won the presidential election in the first round and understandably represents the last chance of Ukraine to remain in one piece. There is every indication that the majority of people consider him as Ukraine’s best chance to return to some kind of normality and for once try to arrest corruption, not nurture it. Seemingly the EU and Germany will back his efforts to pacify the east by firstly accepting those regions as equal interloqutors and secondly by promissing them some kind of autonomy. At the point things have arrived there is no other way out from the civil war.

In last Sunday’s election fight Poroshenko’s adversary was Jylia Tymoshenko, a former Prime Minister, but she didn’t really contest the election. It was clear from the very beginning that Tymoshenko couldn’t beat him. She participated in the contest just to acquire a good contact and relations with her adversary. She very easily and willingly acknowledged defeat. She even appeared with him on Sunday night to celebrate his victory (!) without even the official results being made public. In the future, Poroshenko’s relations with the old corrupt political nomenclature of Ukraine will be tested over his relations with Timoshenko.

Undoubtedly, the new President has a lot of problems, the most important of which are to keep the country united and govern it in almost complete absence of a state administrative machine, let alone a reliable chain of command in all government functions. However, by being the only hope for a reconciliation between the east and the west of the country, he has the EU and the US backing. Over and above, he has repeatedly expressed his decision to side with the European Union, and he explained his victory by the willingness of the majority of the people to connect Ukraine with the West.

Towards a decentralized Ukraine

However, he seems to understand that he cannot change the pro-Russian feelings of a large part of the people in the eastern parts of Ukraine. He also recognizes that the eastern provinces cannot accept the autocracy of the right wing ‘regiments’ of the Maidan, which have become so far an absolute authority. To overcome those hurdles, analysts say that Poroshenko will work towards a solution of decentralized reform in Ukraine, in order to win back the hearts of the populations in the east. In reality there is no other way to keep the country united.

The latest fighting in Donetsk airport yesterday is actually a warning to Poroshenko. Only a few hours after the results of the Presidential election were made known, pro-Russian gunmen attacked the Ukrainian army guarding the main airfield in the region. The gun men had previously paraded in the center of the city in front of a cheering crowd of thousands of people. The new President knows that it will be very difficult to keep the country united if the organized separatist gunmen in the east maintain their close references to the local society. The only way to neutralize the armed militias and deprive them from their connections with the local people, is to offer some form of autonomy for the eastern provinces from Kiev.

Russia’s tactics

So far the Russian decision makers, President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have stated that they will cooperate with Poroshenko and they have just stopped short of recognizing him as representing the new legitimate political authority in Ukraine. Lavrov explained that Russia is ready to sit down with the new Ukrainian President to settle their differences, but Moscow refuses to accept the West, the EU and the US, on the same table as Poroshenko seems to want.

In any case, Poroshenko has the backing of the West, the tolerance of Russia, and represents the only hope of the Ukrainian people to keep the country in one piece. If this hope is strong enough to bridge the gap the civil confrontation has dug, it remains to be seen.

 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Why flexible workspaces are the key to winning the talent war

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Getting people with disabilities into work requires data

Business management: how can you introduce new ideas?

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

The new Kiev rulers ask $35 billion from the West

Coding in Namibia: UN supports young women’s computing career dreams

Healthcare’s a human right, not ‘a privilege for the rich’ UNAIDS argues at Davos

Why precision medicine is the future of healthcare

Medical students: catalysts to close the gender gap

New book honours UN women who made HERstory

Cameroon: Clear ‘window of opportunity’ to solve crises rooted in violence – Bachelet

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

Mergers: Commission approves Varta AG’s acquisition of Energizer’s divestment business, subject to conditions

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

Negotiated two-State solution still ‘the only option’ for Palestine: Guterres

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year

4 ways blockchain will transform the mining and metals industry

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Transat by Air Canada

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

Humanitarian aid: €7 million for disaster preparedness in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region

2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Maria Ressa of the Philippines

Who is first (and last) in the race to build a workforce fit for the future?

We won’t win the online security war without people power

4 ways the circular economy can help heavy industry reduce emissions

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

A ‘strong and united Europe’ has never been more needed, declares UN chief Guterres

Here are five ways we can make mental healthcare better

Guterres expresses ‘grave concern’ following explosion at large political rally for reform-minded Ethiopian Prime Minister

Coronavirus: Commission concludes exploratory talks with Valneva to secure a new potential vaccine

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

3+1 issues to haunt tomorrow’s EU Summit

‘Good enough’ global cooperation is key to our survival

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

FROM THE FIELD: Finding refuge in the ‘beautiful game’

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

How data is transforming the way we care for the ocean

This German supermarket’s shelves are filled with food other stores won’t sell

How trust and collaboration are key in India’s last mile response to the COVID-19 crisis

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

Banking package: Parliament and Council reach an agreement

Coronavirus vs flu: how do they compare?

Autumn 2020 Economic Forecast: Rebound interrupted as resurgence of pandemic deepens uncertainty

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

How a bionic arm is helping one little girl enjoy the things most take for granted

If you build it, they will come: Why infrastructure is crucial to tourism growth and competitiveness

7 steps to becoming a ‘CEO Academy’

Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

How personalized care can tackle the late-life loneliness epidemic

Vaccines: contract between European Commission and AstraZeneca now published

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Mobile technology facilitating social distance in the middle of a pandemic

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s